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Pumpkin Brownies with Pecans

Pumpkin Brownies with Pecans

Is there a rule somewhere that says that brownies must be chocolate? Can something other than chocolate be the primary feature in a brownie if the resulting baked good is still brown in color, with a rich flavor and fudgy texture? I tend to think so, especially after trying these Pumpkin Brownies. These are not cakelike bars posing as brownies, but are tender, fudgy and chewy and pretty darn close to a regular brownie in texture. They have all the warm, spicy flavors of pumpkin pie, too, which makes them a great fall treat and a great alternative to pumpkin pie if you’re looking for new ways to use some up this autumn.

These are very easy to make and can be stirred up in just one bowl. One of the reasons that they are fudgy and not cake-like is that there is no leavening in this recipe (yes, it’s not a typo). If there were, the batter would rise up and aerate more, leaving a fluffier finished product. Not to worry, however: these brownies are thin and don’t taste too dense or heavy. They’re best with some nuts mixed in to give them a little bit more texture and add another layer of flavor to the finished product. I used pecans, but walnuts are a great option, too. And if you do feel strongly that brownies must have some chocolate in them, feel free to stir a handful of mini chocolate chips into the batter along with the chopped pecans.

I also used a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to cut these brownies out to serve them, which is a very cute look for these treats. You can also simply cut them into bars to serve. The advantage of using a cookie cutter is, of course, that you get to eat the scraps as you prepare your brownies (always a bonus when you’re the chef!).

Update: If you are a visual learner, I put together a great video that shows exactly how I made these brownies and walks you through the steps! Take a peek at How to Make Pumpkin Brownies on my YouTube Channel!

Pumpkin Brownies with Pecans, top view

Pumpkin Brownies with Pecans
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in spices, salt, the egg and the pumpkin puree. Sift flour into the bowl and stir it in, mixing until just combined. Add in pecans and stir to evenly distribute the nuts.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the brownies are just just lightly browned at the edges and the center is set (it may look moist, but will not be sticky when lightly pressed). Cool in the pan before slicing.

Makes 20 bars.

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  • Amy
    October 19, 2009

    This is exactly the recipe I’ve been looking for for weeks! Every pumpkin brownie recipe I’ve found has been chocolate-based or too cake-like..can’t wait to try it out, I’m sure it will stand up as well as every other recipe I’ve tried from your site. Thanks again! 🙂

  • Jen
    October 19, 2009

    Looks great! Love anything pumpkin. Two quick questions:
    1. Can I double recipe for a 9×13 pan?
    2. Would I use 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice in place of the individual spices listed above?
    Thanks a bunch! Might try these out this weekend.

  • Nicole
    October 19, 2009

    Jen – Yes and yes. I hope you like them!

  • Randy
    October 19, 2009

    Without the chocolate and brown color, wouldn’t they be called blondies instead of brownies?

  • Mimi
    October 19, 2009

    Brownies, blondies. What ever you call them they look delicious.

  • bakingblonde
    October 19, 2009

    I love pumpkin in baked goods, my go to recipe is a pumpkin cheesecake but i love trying recipes that are quicker to whip up when needed

  • Steve
    October 19, 2009

    Great recipe. We might try these the day before Halloween while working on the pumpkins.

  • Daydreams of Baking
    October 19, 2009

    These look sooo awesome! I have got to try them this weekend! I even have a pumpkin fresh from the farmer’s market that will be perfect for this!

  • Domestic Godzilla
    October 19, 2009

    Blondies with double the pumpkin! Genius! The texture of these looks great for cut-outs. Oooh, and I bet they’d be awesome with candied pecans exchanged for the plain nuts…or maybe I’m just on a candied nut kick, haha.

  • Jen
    October 19, 2009

    I love all the pumpkin baking going on right now!

  • Valerie
    October 19, 2009

    I love the shape of yours, but they look like they’d taste good no matter what shape they are.

  • Danielle
    October 20, 2009

    You read my mind! I’ve been looking for a more chewy, brownie-like pumpkin bar and these sound like the perfect solution! I can’t wait to try these.

  • Sofia
    October 21, 2009

    I made these tonight and they are delicious. So moist. I left out the cloves and added about half a cup of chocolate chips.

  • admanzion
    October 21, 2009

    wow,they looks so delicious

  • Elizabeth
    October 21, 2009

    I adore pumpkin cheesecake. Such a wonderful fall treat!

  • Yosha
    October 21, 2009

    Mmmmm…that looks delicious!

    Cheesecake…haven’t tried a flavour I haven’t liked!

    If I had to pick I”d say mint chocolate, but I have a pumpkin cheesecake recipe waiting to be tried!!

  • Jenny
    October 21, 2009

    These look delicious. I will be trying this recipe next!

  • CathyRyans
    October 21, 2009

    It is so delicious I wanna eat it

  • Mijune
    October 22, 2009

    what the f!!!!! that looks delicious!!! I want one right now. The recipe is so easy and simple too…i’m making these for halloween for sure. thanks for the idea!

  • Jess
    October 22, 2009

    The cheesecake factory’s new red velvet cheesecake, oh my god! perfection!

  • Karen@Cook4Seasons
    October 24, 2009

    Made these last night and they were stupendous. I used whole wheat pastry flour which I think made them a little more crumbly, but the flavor was spot on.
    I cannot get enough pumpkin this time of year. On my site, I am devoting a whole week’s worth of recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Megan
    October 24, 2009

    I tried these today….AWESOME!! Great consistency and the perfect pumpkin taste.

  • Jamie
    October 25, 2009

    I am planning on making this this week and putting it in pumpkin icecream, what u think about that?

  • Ashley
    October 25, 2009

    What a super awesome creation!! I’m definitely going to try them.

  • Bobbi
    November 7, 2009

    I just made these — so yummy!

  • Sarah
    November 18, 2009

    FINALLY!! I’ve been trying different “pumpkin brownies” and trying to fix them to be more brownie like and they just haven’t worked. They are either cake like or pie like. These are exactly what I was looking for!! I even wrote alton brown to see if he would do an episode for pumpkin brownies 🙂 Thank you so much! I found them a bit on the sweet side, would the recipe still be as brownie like if the sugar was reduced slightly?

  • erick @ mixtape designs
    October 13, 2010

    mmmm, wow, it’s right around the corner for halloween again! This is an awesome treat to make for my kids. Thanks for this. Im sure it tastes as good as it’ looks!

  • Andrea
    October 14, 2010

    Ooooh. These look goooood. And fairly simple. I like it! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Heather
    October 14, 2010

    Yummy! My two very favorite things…brownies (of any sort) and pumpkin. These sound amazing and I can’t wait to try them.

  • Sara
    November 7, 2010

    Yum, these came out nicely, they were like a cross between pumpkin pie filling and a brownie. Very sweet; I reduced sugar by about 2 tbsp. I didn’t add chocolate chips and I’m glad I didn’t, they would make it way too sweet.

  • DairyStateMom
    October 14, 2011

    These look sensational — I can’t wait to try them! Anything to get vegetables into the 14-year-old (even with butter and sugar). Any thoughts on some whole-wheat flour plus a half teaspoon or so of baking powder to get a little more fiber in them?

  • AndyMpls
    November 10, 2011

    I baked these last night and they were delicious warm. They are even better the next day once they’ve set a bit more. Last night, we still had to eat it like cake (with a fork). Way too civilized! It’s like bringing together pumpkin pie and pecan pie…incredible. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  • My Website
    September 16, 2013

    Yum yum! These look super good. Im probably going to be making these tonite

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